IN SEARCH OF THE ANCIENTS

THE SILVER MAPLE OF CRIEFF HILLS

Why the fuss about ancient trees?  For me the answer lies in their genetics and their gifts to their offspring.  In long lived trees such as maple, oaks, beech and hickory, longevity is a desirable genetic trait.  Longevity of these trees shows an adaptability to a changing world.  An ability to adapt to changing weather and climate, degrading air quality (air pollution) and soil pollutants such as road side salts.

This particular silver maple was on a 300 acre farm purchased by Colonel J B McLean of the present day McLean publications.  Even by 1930, Colonel McLean could see that most of this area had been clear cut and , ‘the land was devoid of most songbirds.’  Somehow the silver maple was spared the ax and grew to its massive size beside the historic stone barn.

It was a thrill to see, this spring, the silver maple loaded with monstrous amounts of maple keys.  Today, we are germinating approximately 200 seedlings from this ancient tree.  And her genetics will live on.

 

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